I’m confident as ‘me’. I know what I want and I often go after it. I give fewer fucks about what people think. I’m emotionally strong, and getting physically stronger too. But this still doesn’t stop guys hurting me. I’m scared you’re going to shatter my confidence. I hate the effect you can have on me; pathetically waiting by my phone, hoping you’ll text. I hate how hard it is to feel my strength and independence when I know I was used. I’m scared you’ll do something to me and I won’t be able to stop you – after all, you are bigger and stronger than me. I cannot run fast, and I know you can run faster.
There have been times when I’ve had to say ‘no’ firmly to stop the advances. There have been times when I didn’t enjoy the sex , even though I wanted it, but I have never felt forced into something I didn’t want to do. I know not all women can say the same, and this makes me sad.
I have never felt unsafe in Brighton, but last night I was walking the 3 minute walk from the pub to the taxi rank and this bloke called after me. We didn’t know one another, but he caught up with me and we shared a conversation. He asked where I was going. Home. Can he come? No. Do I want to go back to his? No thank you. Am I sure? Would I at least like to go to his car? I am sure, and no thanks.
Fine, bitch, fuck you then.
Excuse me?! We have been speaking for all of 2 minutes, before which I didn’t even know you existed. Of course I don’t want to get into a stranger’s car, or go back to their house. And his disbelief in that I felt this was a bad idea is astonishing.
I wonder how often he has done this; approached a woman with the assumption she’ll be gagging to go somewhere (anywhere?!) and shag him. I wonder if any woman has accepted his indecent proposal. I wonder why, WHY, he thinks it’s acceptable to then call the rejecting female a ‘bitch’ and swear at her. It really ought to be the other way around. But I fear I would have got a slap in the face, or worse, if I told him to go and fuck himself.
This doesn’t mean I won’t walk back to the taxi rank alone again. This doesn’t mean I won’t wear a dress and heels again. This doesn’t mean I’ll bat off any male advances with a fear they only have one thing on their mind. But what it does mean, is there is something wrong with this man’s attitude. And my experience of being used then ghosted has shown that this attitude festers in more men’s minds than it should.